New Year Resolutions & Predictions

New Year has come and gone and all around the World talk inevitably turns to resolutions. Are you looking towards a slimmer you? Giving up smoking? Perhaps you have decided to dedicate more time to others.

It’s also a good time to sit back and review your networking. Is your current activity working for you? Are you in the right networks, getting the referrals you want for your business?

Take the time to check you are on the right track. Even the top networkers do it. I spoke to some of the UK’s leading networking experts and heads of networks to find out what they expect to happen in networking in 2009 and their own plans for the New Year.

ecademy security breakdown gives a stark warning

ecademy – the business-orientated social networking site, that we have covered many times within the pages of Business Matters, gave a stark warning to its members of the possible pitfalls of using social networking as they left supposedly private support emails sent through the site publicly viewable as the result of a programming error earlier this week.

The rise of the social network

Andy Lopata, networking specialist, talks about the rise of social networking for business gain.

“I am not looking to set up a big website. Niche networks have always been the case; it’s never been about big networks. It’s about quality and interest to other members.

Roubi l’Roubi is the London based fashion designer behind RoubiNETWORK.com, a small, active and popular social network for his friends from creative sectors, and culture vultures from the business world.

We met through Ecademy a couple of years ago, but the future according to Roubi is niche.  He now participates less on Ecademy than he did and uses LinkedIn rarely. While Roubi needs to maintain a presence on MySpace as the choice of artists, he is still very selective about its use.

Do you feel lucky?

Often, salespeople put their success (or lack of it) down to sheer ‘luck’… but just how much of their achievements should be put down to luck alone? How can certain salespeople excel during a sales slump whilst others fall the wayside? Are some salespeople just born lucky?

I remember a quote from the golfer, Gary Player, when accused of being "lucky" he said, "The harder I practice, the luckier I get".

Making Marketing Accountable

Marketing accountability should be a priority, but in reality there is a lot of talk on the matter, and less action.   Given access to large corporate budgets, marketing staff have promised returns on investment and increased market share.  However, the evolution of the dot.com era has contributed to the fact that marketing staff can no longer get away with promising big results without quantifiably measuring them.

The future of networking

Increasingly, businesses have been looking to ‘word of mouth’ marketing to find clients with the growth of networking groups providing opportunities for companies to spread the word and get referrals.
Times move on and with the growth of online social networking opening people’s eyes to the power of the internet, companies are looking to see how the increasing number of ‘social’ business networks can be used for marketing and sales purposes.

Is video content the future for business websites?

If you, like me, are the kind of person who hides away when the video cameras come out, you might well ask, why on earth would you want video content on your company website?

The reason why I’m recommending that you think differently today is because I believe that 1. video content is the future for business websites and that 2. business websites with video content attract more customers and drive higher sales.

Sustainability is a matter of business

The environment is changing. The IPCC’s (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 4th assessment report was released in February warning that climate change poses the single biggest threat to    businesses and societies.
The effects of global climate change and the exhaustion of natural resources are becoming increasingly evident, with consequences for human well-being. In the world of marketing these global changes are shifting consumers’ expectations of brands and companies. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the power held in their purchase choices.  Businesses have a new obligation not just to make money but also to ‘do good’ and embed a sense of global citizenship, social responsibility and environmental responsibility in their brand.

Packing the Punches: How to make your website a big hitter

Having a company website is the norm for any serious business these days, no matter what its size is, but it makes very little sense to spend good money on a website unless you can make it easy for people to find, use, and come away with a clear vision and understanding of what you’re about and the desire to return.
The best websites offer visitors something different but equally useful or entertaining each time they visit, compelling them to come back for more.  Without exception, these are websites that are in constant evolution; they are the sites that are tended to daily and regularly updated with new information.